The Beat of the Heartstone: WIPpet Wednesday

It’s my favourite time of the week again – the Wednesday WIPpet! Time to crack open the WIP and see if there is anything vaguely related to the date that is worth sharing with the world.

Like everyone else, it’s getting hard to find a passage sans spoilers to share. So in deference to the date, I’ve just taken 29 lines from the middle of The Fall of the Kings that doesn’t give much away. Bear in mind it’s very much a first draft!

In this scene Jae and Zak have managed to avoid the soldiers chasing them (for being ‘fey’ – a hated ethnic group), but after losing themselves in the Sanctuary Garden, they turn a corner and find themselves face to face with the Heartstone. Although they know the legends, they’ve never seen it before. Zak is not known for his sensitive side, so he’s also acting out of character in this scene.

Then, as though all thought of pursuit were forgotten he turned towards the Heartstone.

“Can you hear it?” Zak was walking towards the great stone, one hand extended, his face a picture of reverence.

Jae looked back at the path, half expecting someone to come barrelling down it.

“What?” She couldn’t hear anything. The guards hadn’t been that far behind them, so the silence was disturbing.

“The Heartstone. It’s humming.” Zak was almost at the stone, his hand hovering over its amber surface. “Listen.”

She frowned, frustrated he wasn’t taking their safety seriously. “I don’t hear anything. Come on Zak they can’t be far behind.”

“You’ll hear them crashing through the garden well before they get here. Listen.” His voice softened. “It’s – beautiful.”

“Beautiful? Zak! We’ve got to go.”

But he ignored her, placing hand against the great stone, and then to Jae’s surprise, he smiled and leaned his body into the stone so his cheek was pressed up against it.

“It’s warm Jae!”  He closed his eyes. She’d never seen him look so… contented?

“Don’t touch it.”

He opened his eyes and gave her a funny look.

“It was set by the hand of the One God, for all who would seek him. That includes us. Come on – you’ve got to feel this.”

Jae moved closer, her gaze flicking between Zak and the Heartstone, poised to run. But as she drew near, the golden warmth did seem inviting and she could make out a gentle humming – no a pulsing that seemed to beat with her own heart.  She raised an eyebrow at Zak who was now grinning like a loon.  Zak – grinning? And tentatively reached out a hand.

As her fingers grazed the smooth surface she felt a warmth, a comforting warmth flow up her arm.  She snatched her hand back and stared at her fingertips, before pressing her palm up against it.

She’d heard the stories, but nothing could have prepared her for the overwhelming peace she felt being here, bathed in the light of the Heartstone.

I hope you’re having a great writing week. If you want to join our merry band of WIPpeteers, it’s as easy as posting something from your own WIP, with some relevance to the date and linking up to this linky. Many thanks to the ever lovely K.L. Schwengel for hosting!

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20 thoughts on “The Beat of the Heartstone: WIPpet Wednesday

  1. You had me captivated by this extract just as much as Zak seems to be captivated by the mysterious Heartstone. I really liked the way you contrast Zak and Jae to begin with, with Jae eager to get going and out of danger and Zak inexplicably drawn to the Heartstone, just as Jae is by the end. Intriguing.

    1. Actually it was a funny little scene – I hadn’t planned for them to have this little encounter, they turned a corner and there it was. So it is a little bit of peace in the midst of a day fraught with all sorts of drama.

      1. I absolutely adore scenes that appear out of nowhere. Rather like characters saying things you don’t expect. It worked out well for an unplanned encounter.

  2. A very intriguing excerpt, Raewyn! I’m curious to see how the Heartstone, or the legend of the Heartstone, plays out in the story. Nice! 🙂

  3. I haven’t read much Zak yet, but I can tell from Jae’s reaction that you weren’t kidding when you said “out of character”. At first I figured since they were both Fey, Jae would immediately be as attracted to the Heartstone as Zak (because it’s such a common theme in fantasy for one race to be more sensitive to this or that so every single member of the race is instantly, rapturously in love with whatever this or that is). I really enjoyed Jae’s hesitance. This is a beautiful scene. I hope your revisions won’t change it too much. 🙂

    1. Actually they are as human as the next guy, but own this ‘Fey’ label for quite different reasons. (Unlike my new WIP which has real honest to goodness (or not) Faerie folk). Thanks for your support though. I hope I don’t butcher it too! LOL.

  4. This is lovely Raewyn. I really got a great sense of the urgency Jae feels as Zak is touching the Heartstone and then the peace as she touches it too. Will the Heartstone somehow help them escape?

    1. Thanks Elaine – I have such a strong sense of what this stone means to this world, I hope it does come across in the actual story. I think the Heartstone did play a part in their escape – it has some unusual qualities – but they don’t really grasp it.

      Whatever they felt, other circumstances will very soon take their minds off this encounter. At least for a while.

  5. I like this for a few reasons… one, it suggests that of the two, Zak may be more sensitive than he allows the world to see, that you’ve made the fey something less than these “super magical” beings that so many stories make them out to be… and that you’ve used Zak’s coarser nature to contrast the power of the stone (where Zak says “You’ll hear them crashing through the garden…”–its such strong wording for the dreamy state he seems to be in otherwise).

    1. Thanks, I’m glad it’s hitting a good note. I think Zak is more sensitive than he lets on (he has quite a cynical, tough facade – especially around Jae who brings out all sorts of mixed feelings…). These ‘Fey’ are actually human – but they wear this label for ‘REASONS’.

      1. Ah! I see. I love “reasons” 😀

        And yea, the tough facade is often there as protection against the world.

  6. Awesome excerpt. You really bring out the tension caused by Jae being on the look-out and really wanting to beat feet, and Zak caught up in the draw of the Heartstone. I can’t wait to grab this book and devour it.

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